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Social Studies: Karlo Sy Su, ESPN Los Angeles

“We don’t view ourselves as a radio station that is on from 6a-7p. We are always on because you can interact and reach out via our social media platforms, 24-25 hours, eight days a week.”

Alex Reynolds

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Karlo Sy Su is the Digital Content Manager for ESPN Los Angeles – the flagship station for the Los Angeles Lakers, Rams, and LA FC. Karlo spoke at the 2023 BSM Summit and since that presentation, there have been some exciting developments at ESPN LA on the digital side. 

ESPN LA has the largest cumulative social media following in sports radio. 518K follow the brand on Facebook, 246K on Instagram, 95K on X, and 17K on TikTok. Another 37K consume the brand’s content on YouTube. That’s just under one million collectively across all platforms. All of that by the way is without adding the station’s radio audience.

In our conversation, Karlo explains why niche audiences on social deliver greater impact, how sponsorship activations work in the form of social campaigns, how ESPN LA leverages its flagship partnerships to develop unique content and how social media can greatly expand the impact of terrestrial radio.

Sports media professionals are encouraged to watch the full version of the interview on our YouTube page. Also, if you haven’t checked out our prior interviews with other social media managers, click here. Please be aware that the interview below has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Alex Reynolds: Put me in your day-to-day and tell me about the team that you work with on the digital side. From your interaction with talent, PDs and others inside ESPN LA.

Karlo Sy Su: What we love Alex is that not a day goes by where it’s the same old same old. Going into the day, a lot of constant communication goes on between the digital team, which I’m proud to say I have a digital team. I know a lot of sports stations or radio stations in general can’t afford even just one person to dedicate to social media. Because of Good Karma Brands and the load that we cover, we’re able to utilize part timers who are hungry to participate in producing digital content and finding ways to create opportunities for themselves.

That communication also involves the content team and the sales marketing consultant team. That allows us to be on the same page when it comes to creating content. Having that same mindset and those same goals of who we want to target our content to.

AR: What would you say the top three platforms are for ESPN Los Angeles?

KS: I always love that question. Instagram, to me, is such a great network to be able to engage with our fans. The engagement rate for us is much higher on Instagram than on other platforms. Because of that, we prioritize Instagram to communicate directly with those who are consuming our content.

YouTube is also up there. I would rank that as like a 1a and 1b not even a one and two. YouTube we prioritize as a platform to live stream nine hours of daily programming. We’ve used YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and X to stream and simulcast our radio shows. We’re able to surprise our fans and partners by showing them that ESPN Los Angeles is no longer a station on your radio dial inside your car. You’re able to stay connected with us no matter where you are, on your phone or on your computer.

AR: Why is it important to be on not just live streaming on your primary channel, but every channel possible?

KS: We cater to our audience! Our audience doesn’t have channels on every platform. So we’re making it as easy as possible for our audience to access us. If you’re connecting with us on X, we want you to be one tap away from following us and able to communicate. If you are on Facebook it’s the same thing. We want to make it as easy as possible by being on as many platforms as possible.

AR: Tell me about the growth strategies that you go through at ESPN LA.

KS: We let our content do a lot of the talking. By doing that, it shows that our audience is willing to engage with it. And they show that they’re hungry for more. We want to follow the numbers, study the analytics, know what is and isn’t working and grow from there.

By seeing what is working, we want to cater to that audience and provide them more of that content. People know they can go on YouTube or any of our social media platforms and get content from us on a regular basis. That shows that we are a reliable source.

AR: Tell me a little bit about those brand partnerships and how you’ve been able to make social media into a revenue driver for the station.

KS: It’s been an incredible year on that. Being able to push our partners in that relationship between our fans and our talent has been a top priority.

I would say one of the biggest things I’m proud about is a campaign that we had with Bibigo – the official Jersey patch of the Los Angeles Lakers. One of their big priorities was brand awareness. Their product wasn’t being pushed to the forefront by the Lakers. So they turned to us as a team partner of the Lakers for ways of continue improving that relationship.

@espnlosangeles

Austin Reaves with the sauce! Celebrate the Sunday Game Day with @bibigo USA, the official game day snack of the @Lakers 🥟 #lakers #austinreaves #bibigo #dumplings #steameddumplings #austinyourehim #mandu #foodtiktok #foodie

♬ original sound – ESPN Los Angeles

We were able to, with communication with the Lakers, put the product in the players’ hands on media day. It was a huge win for us and a huge win for them. The players actually loved having Bibigo in their hands, tasting the product, eating it on camera with us. In these meetings, we had the idea of having fun with it. Doing a a dumpling dunk contest in adding style points to the piece.

One of the biggest compliments that you can get is from fans who are watching the video and saying, ‘This doesn’t feel like an ad.’ That means you did your job. It’s another level for us to not just put up an ad but to organically integrate our partners into the content that we’re already doing. We’re used to having fun with players on media day. Now we integrate a partner to it.

Also, if you watch our social media live stream, we have lower thirds integrating a logo from the partner. Maybe it’s a promo code or an offer that talent are passionately pushing. It’s just about finding different ways to include the partner in the relationship between talent and fans. And it gets hilarious sometimes when you’re watching the YouTube livestream and you look in the chat and totally unprovoked you have fans talking about the product that they see. Not because we’re forcing them to do this but because our fans are becoming passionate about the partners that we have.

AR: Speaking of partnerships, being a flagship station is huge in the radio business. You already mentioned the Lakers and the Rams. How have those partnerships opened up doors in terms of social content?

KS: Because of how we approach our team partnerships, we want to be able to bridge our fans and give them the same access that we have. I remember growing up when I was an intern, I’d get these awesome opportunities to be in the Lakers locker room talking to Kobe [Bryant] and Pau [Gasol]. That was a lifetime dream for me. I grew up with Laker fans in my family and my friends. They wanted to see the same things that I see and I grew that foundation into what we believe here at ESPN Los Angeles.

We want to connect our fans, as much as possible to be the eyes and the ears of the content. As if they were a fly on the wall inside Crypto or SoFi stadium. We know not every fan can afford to be there and we know not every fan has the same access that we do. But we want to share that access as much as possible.

We know it is also on the team to be gatekeepers of this content at times, and we are ready for them to say no. But as long as we have unique ideas and perspectives to share their stories, the teams are usually behind it. Because of that, it goes back to the reliability that we have and fans knowing that they’re going to get some of the best in-depth content from us, not just from the official team accounts.

I found it interesting that not every radio station approaches it that way. As a team partner, we want to provide social content that is similar, maybe even sometimes better than a one-sided voice from the official team accounts.

AR: You talked about measuring what works and what doesn’t. Social gives you a ton of data points to work with so, what do you feel are the biggest social and digital KPIs for you?

KS: It’s definitely got to be engagement. I know a lot of partners measure their success in impressions. GKB measures their success with followers. I love having the largest sports radio social media following in the country, that’s something I’m proud of. But knowing that we have an audience that continues to engage with the content, brings the impressions and the followers. I don’t think it’s the same story the other way.

Knowing that our fans aren’t just following us because we told them to or maybe because of a contest. But they actually follow because they believe in our content and want to see more.

I had a great discussion with one of my teammates about this. I asked, what are you more proud about on this post? Was it the 100 likes in the first two or three minutes or the 120 comments that came from it? We said it’s the comments because of the energy that your fans spend to engage to react to content. It takes more energy to comment then to double tap and scroll on to the next post. Our job is to make you stop scrolling. Not only did you see it because you follow us, but you stopped scrolling because you were passionate enough to engage with our content.

To me, that is more critical and valuable because we took your time.

AR: You guys do great and exciting content around teams but let’s bring it inside the station. Tell me what you believe are the keys to creating good social content out of radio.

KS: I feel so lucky to have a team of clowns. Not only do I have professional talent, who are great at what they do on radio. They have personalities, and I think that translates well on social media. Any vanilla person can deliver a message, but they integrate their hot takes with uniqueness. Our talent do a great job of that.

When you look at the numbers, and their followings, they’ve built them because of the persona that they’ve created themselves. I think it’s our job at ESPN LA in our social media accounts, to just supplement it. It’s not on us to build their persona. That’s on them, and our role is to continue showcasing it.

For example, Scott Kaplan is willing to integrate partners in unique ways. He’s thinking about things the same way that we are, not just looking to put a logo on something or read a sponsor tagline. He’s trying to find ways to implement it in his message in his content, and it’s awesome.

One person I want to mention, in particular, is Chris Morales. We’re lucky to have him. The radio industry would be so much better if there was a Chris Morales at every station because he gives that extra level of pushing talent to pursue ways of not being boring in integrating a partner or engaging other talent.

It’s unique, and it challenges us every day. Because of that, we’ve built a franchise like the Mandy’s where fans are willing to show up to root for our own talent to get awards from ourselves. It’s such a unique scenario that I don’t think everybody can duplicate.

One thing I want to add is- and this further supports the growth of the talent without our social media channels -on X, each of the shows (Travis and Sliwa, Mason and Ireland, Sedano and Kaplan) have their own X communities. They interact with their P1 listeners without [the social team] engaging with them. It’s all self driven, the producers and the talent are in there talking with their fans. Fans are talking with each other. They don’t need [@ESPNLosAngeles] to continue to push that message.

AR: Would you recommend that to other stations and other markets… breaking it up by show?

KS: That’s an interesting question. I actually looked across the GKB markets, and we were asked about our predictions for 2024. I said that social media would be more engaging in a smaller space. So being more of a private social media community, meaning like communities where you have to be a member, which provides that feeling of exclusivity.

If we decided to do show social media accounts, anybody can click follow. But to be part of a community, you must actually be a listener. You can set up quiz questions to be part of it.

This, again, creates that feeling that I don’t need to post something that is going to be seen by everybody. I’m just going to post something to the audience that actually cares about it. Because of that, it’s a more efficient way of getting your message out.

AR: You mentioned that you’re lucky to have a full digital team around you. But not all stations are like that. What advice do you have for stations that have one or maybe a few part-time people working on the digital and social side?

KS: I’m willing to bet there is at least one person who is interested in starting a social media page for the station. Continue to provide them with opportunities where they can grow the station in ways that are challenging right now. We know this current market isn’t prime for sports radio. This isn’t the golden era of sports radio. But to find ways to connect to a younger audience, even a larger audience that you may never have tapped into, social media is a great space for that.

There’s so much young talent coming out of school, that are social media savvy, that a lot of us in the radio business who have been in it for a while, may not be thinking that forward. In sports radio, we’re finding ways to connect with an audience. It’s the same with social media just on a different channel.

For us at ESPN Los Angeles, we don’t view ourselves as a radio station that is on from 6am to 7pm. We are always on because you can interact and reach out via our social media platforms, which are 24-25 hours, eight days a week.

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Eavesdropping: The Fan Morning Show, 93.7 The Fan

“Thats right the Phillies are like the best team in baseball…and they gotta ask about Nick Sirianni acting a fool on the sideline? On June 21st?”

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Graphic for an Eavesdropping feature on The Fan Morning Show

A couple of years ago, 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh started making moves with its morning show that led them to where they are today. In May of 2022, Adam Crowley was named the producer of the show and in August of 2022, former NFL player Dorin Dickerson, who had worked for the station since 2017, was named a show co-host. About a year later in June 2023, the station announced show hosts Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack were out and Crowley and Dickerson would take over the show. With that version of the show about a year old, I thought it would be a good time to eavesdrop in on The Fan Morning Show.

Crowley and Dickerson are joined on the show by producer and update anchor Nicholas ‘Harry’ Callas and on this particular episode the show was celebrating Callas recently getting a promotion to being a full-time member of the staff. The show was planning a lunch together later in the day and one of the early topics that came up was about who would pay for the meal. The early interaction between the guys about this along with the technical difficulties they were having with Dickerson’s headsets gave you a pretty good indication of what you were in for over the course of the show.

As is the case sometimes with morning shows, sometimes the best stuff has nothing to do with the sports topics of the day, it is just whatever comes out of the hosts mouths when the first crack that microphone.

In this case, while the tech issues were being worked out, the guys hit on whether or not Callas would sweat through his shirt with no undershirt on, Callas’ plans to buy a $4,000 bus, Crowley asking for advice because his five-month-old baby was not sleeping well and whether or not Crowley used the word ‘solstice’ the day before.

For the record, he did use the word, despite being certain that he did not. Callas found the audio from the day before and played it and that is when the audience learned there was a $1,000 wager made on the issue. Turns out Callas was good with just having his lunch paid for that day, so that settled that discussion. Now, the headsets were working and with all of those quick topics out of the way it was time to talk some Pittsburgh sports.

The two hosts have no problems going back and forth on just about any sports topic or the inevitable life topics that come up. Both hosts are in their 30’s and have families while Callas is in his 20’s.

Dickerson’s football career began in western PA. He was a High School All American and Pennsylvania Player of the Year in 2005 at West Allegheny. He then moved on to play for the University of Pittsburgh and was a First-team All American tight end in 2009. Next came an opportunity to perform at the highest level, entering the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2010. He also has worked on the Pitt radio team as an analyst and sideline reporter.

Crowley said the day before, Dickerson had posted his offer letters from high school on social media. “You tweeted out all of your offer letters yesterday, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time zooming in on all of these schools that offered you.”

This led to a discussion about Dickerson being recruited by Pete Carroll at USC and by Urban Meyer at Florida. “I will never forget Pete Carroll walking down the hallway…When he walked in, I was like wow,” Dickerson said. Crowley compared Carroll then to Nick Saban coming prior to his retirement. “Pete Carroll at that time transcended college football, he was a giant,” Crowley said.

This is why you want an athlete who has made it to the highest levels on your station. It was fun and insightful to hear Dickerson talk about his recruitment and about his reasoning behind why he chose to go to Pitt. “Best football decision I ever made in my life,” he said. He talked about making the decision that staying local would open doors for him in the future, something that has obviously paid off.

Crowley is passion personified. No matter the subject, it is clear he loves doing his job and trying to entertain and inform his audience. Half the batter sometimes to keeping an audience engaged is the passion with which you speak about the subject. Crowley has that on lock down. It is easy to get caught up in his passionate and aggressive takes at a lot of the topics of the day.

Even as they talk about the Pirates, who have lost about 60% of their games since 2000, Crowley does so with an energy that is infectious. This season, with the team hovering around .500 which puts them in the running for a Wild Card position, and the tremendous starting pitching they have had, there is actual hope, and you can tell the guys are happy they can talk about something different other than which star players the team will trade away next.

Crowley had mentioned a few times that, “It’s just the three of us today. No guests on the show, it is a Friday, and we are just having fun.”

The segments flowed well, and Crowley keeps it moving along. When they finish a segment, they go to a quick headlines report versus a full sports update and that generally led them to a live endorsement ad from one of the hosts.

On this day, the group spent an entire hour doing Pittsburgh Pirates report cards. Four different segments worth of throwing out player names, assigning them a letter grade and debating the merits of whatever grade they were given. If you were tuning in for heavy Pirates talk you got exactly what you were looking for. If you were not, you were out of luck.

There was some strong hockey talk in another segment as the Edmonton Oilers had evened the Stanley Cup Final series with the Florida Panthers at three games apiece after being down three games to none. “Let’s say they come back, and they win this series from down 3-0 to winning this thing, it is gonna be maybe the greatest postseason in the history of sports,” Crowley said. “And it would be the most legendary comeback in that sport’s history because of the guy who spearheaded it.” The hosts also kicked around the idea of Edmonton’s Connor McDavid winning the Conn Smythe trophies as the series MVP even if Edmonton doesn’t win.

A lot of Crowley’s takes are strong, he doesn’t waver on a lot of things while Dickerson seems to weigh both sides of a subject when he speaks. The two have developed really good chemistry and with Callas, sound like the proverbial buddies having a chat about sports.

They just as easily have a great conversation about the possibility of the NFL expanding its schedule to jumping over to which celebrities don’t seem to age and marveling at the likes of Selma Hayek and Marisa Tomei.

Dickerson again adds great perspective with the NFL schedule discussion. He said as a player he would not have been in favor of extending the regular season schedule. However, he did add, “I am ok with it now, I want more football. After the Super Bowl is kind of depressing. It gets more depressing now, because you are itching for it. If you extend it a little bit longer that takes away a little of the wait.”

Crowley added, “From our standpoint, from a talk radio standpoint our hot time of the year gets extended, so I like it. I used to be in the camp of less is more, not I am in the camp of more is more.”

The schedule talk was followed by another good discussion on the lengths of the seasons in other sports. About hockey’s season, Crowley said, “The Oilers and the Panthers will have played, literally, literally, their season is ten months long. From October all the way through June, are you kidding me? It’s absurd, that’s absurd.”

As they wrap up the week, a fun segment they do is called ‘Social Media’s Biggest Loser.’ While Matt Stafford’s wife, who admitted to dating the backup quarterback in college to get back at Stafford, was the winner, the hosts had more to say about another station in another market and what they were talking about.

Referring to a poll question he saw on social media from WIP in Philadelphia, Crowley said, “…We’re entertaining, we are having fun, we are enjoying a Friday. They are getting hot and heavy on Nick Sirianni’s sideline demeanor.”

“They’re just still irked that they got kicked out of the playoffs, they’re still mad about it,” Dickerson added. “Talk about the Phillies or something.”

“Thats right the Phillies are like the best team in baseball…and they gotta ask about Nick Sirianni acting a fool on the sideline? On June 21st? Who cares?”

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Jen Lada Has Built a Multiplatform Presence at ESPN

“I always say my job is to make the viewer care about somebody and root for somebody that they might ordinarily not root for or care about.”

Derek Futterman

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Jen Lada
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

When Jen Lada appeared on Around the Horn earlier in the month, she became the 58th panelist to be part of the program since its launch in 2002. Facing off against three other panelists from around the country, she garnered a victory in her on-air debut and elicited plaudits from her colleagues. Throughout the program, Lada demonstrated her deft sports knowledge and nuanced opinions that have crafted her into a venerated, skilled reporter at the network.

Although she had appeared on many ESPN programs previously, Around the Horn represented a show to which she wanted to contribute for many years. In fact, she has memories of watching the show just out of Marquette University and remarking about its brilliance and ingenuity.

Utilizing reporters with comprehensive knowledge of various sports who have chronicled several events, the show provides them an opportunity to give their opinions on issues and engage in debate with their contemporaries. Lada earned a spot on the show by being persistent, continuing to express her proficiency in commentary and sports discussion. The journey to arrive at this stage of her career, through which she has realized high-level assignments and a presence both at the local and national level, required adaptability and fortitude, and she continues to never take opportunities for granted.

“It’s great that I won, but it just sets the bar really high for the next time I go out there, which is not something I’m afraid of,” Lada said. “I love a challenge, and I love proving to myself that I can keep trying new things and doing new things well, and I hope that if people see me as some sort of example in the industry, that that’s what they walk away with.”

The approach adopted by Lada within her multifarious career ventures is to develop and maintain versatility, always innovating within her approach to content. As she looks to build off her initial victory on Around the Horn, she aims to be more compendious in her discourse and applying a more succinct approach. Making the adjustment in order to deliver compelling, distinctive points quickly differs from her other work, but it is all ultimately centered on sports.

While studying at Marquette University, she observed her classmates having a conversation about the men’s basketball team and what had happened in a recent game. Lada, who at the time was dating a player on the team and cheerleading at games, began to give her thoughts and was subsequently asked if she had ever considered sportscasting.

“I didn’t know that women could be sportscasters,” Lada said. “It wasn’t on my radar as a real career that women held because there were so few of them at the time doing it, and so once I realized that that was something I could do, then I kind of turned all my attention to, ‘Well, how do I make this happen?’”

As Lada began to complete internships and navigate through the media industry, she learned to develop a thick skin and refined her conduct. Out of school, she had completed a year of a non-paid sports internship and was waitressing on the side to pay the bills. The first interview she took for a job at a television station in a top-10 market ended with her being sexually harassed. It was a jarring experience that disappointed Lada because of her propensity to give people the benefit of the doubt, and it also forced her to evaluate her own disposition.

“I think it’s only natural that you wonder how you contributed to the circumstance or what you could have done differently to maybe not put yourself in that space,” Lada said, “but I was very lucky that when I told my family about what had occurred, they very quickly knocked any notion of that out of my head.”

In navigating the industry with good intentions, Lada recognized that it is not her fault if other people fail at treating others professionally and create a misogynistic work environment. Receiving the lesson early in her career has made her more aware of the people to avoid, and she remains wary of advice given to women in the industry that they should just be nice. Lada was recently on a panel where someone advised a broadcast class that being nice would result in things working out for them in the future.

“I felt myself cringing internally because I don’t think that that is a luxury women are afforded,” Lada said. “I don’t think – maybe now is different, but when I was coming up, and I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, there were people who preyed on niceness. And so the way that I would tweak that is to be professional; to carry yourself in a professional manner and recognize that sometimes being ‘traditionally nice’ puts a target on your back to be mistreated, and the best thing you can do is alert those people who would see you as a target that you’re not going to fall victim to that or you refuse to be victim to that.”

Lada joined ESPN in 2015 where she was hired to contribute to Colin Cowherd’s radio program. When Cowherd left the network and joined FOX Sports on a full-time basis, she started co-hosting a new, national program alongside Jorge Sedano. The show, however, had an evanescent run and left her feeling as if she had failed.

It took her a full year to recognize that she had been involved in a series of circumstances and decided to enact the necessary change, asking producers for advice and attending seminars. One of these was an interviewing course hosted by journalist John Sawatsky where he synthesized the art of the craft. Akin to when she was in college, she overheard in passing that the network needed more women in the features space.

“I was fortunate enough to have done a lot of features during my time in Milwaukee because we had a 9 p.m. newscast that required a local sports feature every night of the week, so between our three-person department, we had to fill that timeslot,” Lada said. “I had done a lot of lengthy sports features in Milwaukee [and] had a good foundation of what that job required.”

The meeting led to Lada doing features on an interim basis at the network and later granted her a spot on College GameDay, where she works as its features reporter. Lada presents stories every week to the audience that go beyond the gameplay and divulge a bigger picture.

“I always say my job is to make the viewer care about somebody and root for somebody that they might ordinarily not root for or care about,” Lada said. “One of the things that has occurred to me over the last few years is just what a skill is required to do that job well because not only are you preparing questions to ensure that you have all of the details and information, you’re also gathering perspective on what they’ve been through – the adversity and the situation that has led them to where they are now.”

Lada recently found herself in a high school classroom at 8 a.m. sitting with other students taking the ACT standardized test. She had to complete the exam as punishment for finishing last in fantasy football at ESPN Milwaukee this past season. After four hours, Lada emerged from the school and revealed her score this past week on the Jen, Gabe, and Chewy morning show. Hosting the local program alongside Gabe Neitzel and Mark Chmura, she has established chemistry over almost four years in the three-person format discussing hyperlocal topics.

“I try to be conversational,” Lada said. “We don’t lean on stats – obviously, we want to be accurate, and we want to be, again, fair to the subjects we’re talking about, but we try to also just be friends who are talking about what’s going on on any given day on the Milwaukee [and] Wisconsin sports scene.”

In balancing a variety of different roles, Lada has tried to master everything that she is doing, refraining from being content with her abilities. Although working in local radio regularly has been a newer role for her, she has grown into the job and has co-hosts who understand the subject matter and allow her to utilize her strengths.

“I just want to keep learning,” Lada said. “I’m not satisfied with what I’ve done, [and] I’m not complacent about the skills I have. I’m always interested in adding more jobs to the résumé, and I think that in this industry, you’re rewarded for versatility.”

Once College GameDay commences, Lada adds the responsibility of feature reporting on that program to her schedule and continues making appearances across additional ESPN programming. Lada hosted the Friday edition of College Football Live last season and has also filled in as a host on shows such as First Take and SportsCenter. Moreover, she continues to complete projects for SC Featured and is working on a documentary for E:60 scheduled to premiere later in the summer. 

Lada aims to keep showcasing her indefatigable work ethic and passion for the craft without slowing down. Whether it is hosting a podcast, taking part in more panels or writing essays, she is open to exploring new forms of disseminating stories.

“I have a lot of knowledge and experience rattling around my brain, [and] I think the next iteration is figuring out a way to continue passing those experiences on to the next generation.” Lada said. “I don’t ever want to gatekeep the secrets of success – I think that’s selfish – so as I continue to do the media work, I think the next phase for me is figuring out how to pass a lot of these lessons on to future broadcasting generations.”

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Local Radio Advertisers Can Become Experts with Hosted Shows and Interviews

Overall, local radio interviews and talk shows can be a strategic and effective way for a local expert to enhance their business, build their reputation, and connect with the community.

Jeff Caves

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Photo of people talking on the radio

When looking for that extra edge for local radio advertisers, packaging radio commercials with an “expert” client-hosted talk show or interviews on your local shows or newscasts can be a game-changer. This strategy can build long-term business relationships with suitable clients, such as lawyers, business accountants, agents, psychologists, or sports handicappers. These professionals can provide valuable editorial contributions to sports and news stations. Of course, the expert must have good communication skills, be comfortable speaking their mind, and be ready to be the face of the business.

The radio commercials can tout the expertise the person has and give a call to action for listeners to move on. You can often find these experts on social media writing blogs or doing a series of vignettes about their business. For these types of clients, engaging in local radio news interviews or hosting a 1-2 hour talk show can enjoy several advantages:

Visibility and Brand Recognition

Visibility and Brand Recognition: Regular appearances on local radio help the expert become a well-known figure in the community. This visibility can lead to increased recognition and brand awareness and is a much faster track than just blogging on social media. Attorney Bill Handel and his ” Handel on the Law” show have created a directory business for Handel.

Public Trust and Credibility

By sharing their expertise and providing timely insights, the expert can build trust and establish credibility with the audience. Being perceived as an expert can enhance any client’s reputation and create top-of-mind awareness needed to lead business categories.

Client Acquisition

Listeners impressed by the expert’s knowledge and demeanor may seek their services. This exposure can lead to new clients who might not have been reached through other forms of advertising and give credibility to the expert who uses social media.

Community Engagement

Engaging with the local community through radio shows helps experts connect with potential clients more personally. This can foster a sense of community and loyalty. Question and answer segments can lead to deeper connections.

Educational Outreach

The expert can educate the audience on various issues, which can empower the audience. An informed audience is more likely to recognize when they need the expert’s assistance and whom to contact.

Stand Out in a Crowd

Stand out in a crowd: Being active on local radio can set the expert apart from competitors who may not use local radio. Often, the local shows or interview segments are exclusive to the expert.

Immediate Audience Feedback

Interacting with the audience through call-ins or live questions provides immediate feedback and allows the expert to address common concerns directly in real-time. The expert can be of service NOW.

Professional Development

Regularly discussing current topics can keep the expert sharp on trends and issues, contributing to their ongoing professional development.

Networking

Local radio stations often have a vast network of listeners and other professionals. This can open doors to new professional relationships and opportunities for collaboration. The station also provides a loyal audience who typically don’t follow the expert on social media. But they may start to after hearing the expert.

Overall, local radio interviews and talk shows can be a strategic and effective way for a local expert to enhance their business, build their reputation, and connect with the community.

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